Pine River falls to Morley Stanwood football

Pine River's Andrew Park attempts a pass.
Pine River's Andrew Park attempts a pass.

MORLEY — Morley Stanwood took advantage of key mistakes by Pine River to remain undefeated with Thursday’s 32-13 non-league football victory.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Mohawks (2-0) enjoyed a huge 24-7 second quarter to take a 17-point lead into halftime against the Bucks (0-2)

Aiden Nelson rushed for 114 yards while Drew Jensen added 96 to lead a Morley Stanwood offense that gained 314 total yards. The Bucks had 106 yards passing but only 41 rushing.

“We still have some things we have to clean up,” Morley Stanwood coach Clark Huntey said. “There were too many fumbles again and too many turnovers. But we’re getting better at blocking. And we cleaned some things up. I thought our defense played outstanding.”

“We’re still making too many mistakes to win football games,” Pine River coach Terry Martin said. “We’re still struggling with special teams and formations, simple mistakes that are hurting us.”

Jensen opened the scoring in the second on a four-yard touchdown run and got the two points for the 8-0 lead. Elijah Lewis came back with a 75-yard-kickoff return and the extra point made it 8-7. After Nelson ran for a score and Jensen tallied for the two points, it was 16-7 and it appeared it would stay that way going into halftime. But a bad snap on a Pine River punt attempt with less than 20 seconds to play led to a Jensen 11-yard scoring run and 17-point halftime lead.

“We’re in the ballgame playing OK,” Martin said. “We have a bad formation that backs us up and after that we fumbled the snap on the punt.”

Scoring 24 points “is not a bad quarter,” Huntey said. “We had a few penalties we need to clean up that put us in a long-yardage situation. But a few of those times, we were able to execute and get some first downs.”

Nelson had a 42-yard touchdown run early in the fourth. The play was set up on a 25-yard pass from Kyle Robinette to Zack VanderPloeg. In the final quarter, Luke Hill passed 24 yards to Lewis for a touchdown.

Hill passed for 78 yards. Malachi Holmes rushed for 32 yards to lead the Pine River offense.

In season openers last week, Morley Stanwood beat Central Montcalm 12-6 and Pine River lost to Kalkaska 33-8.

Pine River defeated Morley Stanwood during the regular season and in the district title game last season.

Both teams open defense of their respective conference titles next week (Sept. 8), Morley Stanwood in the Central State Activities Association Silver Division and Pine River in the Highland Conference. The Bucks will be home against Evart and the Mohawks will be at Hesperia.